Awards and Honors
2009 The city of Bahia de Caraquez honored him with a Key to the City for his underwater archaeological investigation off the coast of Ecuador.
2002 The Explorers Club awarded him the Explorers Medal "for extraordinary contributions in the field of exploration and scientific research."
2002 Time selected his finds of the frozen Inca mummies for their book Great Discoveries about the world’s most important finds in all fields of science.
2001 The Ford Motor Company chose him as one of twelve "Heroes for the Planet."
2000 Outside magazine selected him as one of “today’s 25 most extraordinary adventurers, outdoor athletes, and explorers.”
1999 Time selected his finds as among “the world's ten most important scientific discoveries,” making him one of the few scientists to have had his discoveries chosen twice for this distinction.
1999 A National Geographic readers poll chose his article about the Llullaillaco discoveries as number one for the year. It was also the highest scoring article in the archaeology and anthropology category for the previous five years.
1999 Popular Science noted his archaeological discoveries in their list of The Best of 1999.
1998 The Junior Library Guild selected his Discovering the Inca Ice Maiden as an "Outstanding Book."
1997 He was twice noted in the Guinness Book of Records.
1996 The city of Arequipa awarded him its Gold Medal for his archaeological research in southern Peru.
1995 Time selected his finds as among “the world's ten most important scientific discoveries.”
1992 The Bolivian government awarded him the Puma de Oro, its highest distinction for archaeological research.
1988 He was a principal contributor for a book on high-altitude archaeology called "one of the most important mountaineering books of the century" in the American Alpine Journal.
1987 Rolex honored him with the Rolex Award for Enterprise in the field of exploration.
1963 He was a member of a sky diving team that set a group altitude record (22,000 ft).
1962-64 He received University Honors at the University of Arizona and University of Vienna in 1965-68 and 1972-73.
Grants and Fellowships
National Geographic Society (Grants 1983, 1995-96, 1998-2000)
National Endowment for Humanities (Fellowship 1991‑92)
Organization of American States (Fellowship 1987‑89)
Dumbarton Oaks (Grant 1986)
Institute of Humanistic Studies (Grant 1986)
Social Science Research Council/American Council of Learned Societies (Grants 1984‑85 and 1975)
American Philosophical Society (Grant 1983)
American Alpine Club (Grant 1983)
Wenner‑Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (Fellowship and Grant 1968 and 1974)
Institute for Scientific Film, Gottingen (Germany): Grant (1968).
Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna (Grant 1968)
American Anthropological Association (Fellow)
Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies
Chilean Society of Archaeology
Current Anthropology (Associate)
Explorers Club (Honorary Director)
Institute of Andean Studies
Institute of Nautical Archaeology
Royal Geographical Society (Fellow)
Society for American Archaeology